Sunday, March 30, 2008

I saw the idea for doing a floor with paper bags on one of the do-it-yourself email newsletters that I receive. My husband has never been happy with the floor that I redid years ago in our hall bathroom so I decided to recycle all the paper grocery bags that I had onto my floor.

I tore lots of bags and used them with the printed side down. I diluted plain white glue with water to apply the pieces directly to the cleaned floor, making sure to cover the whole floor, overlapping the pieces as I lay them on the floor. Once the floor was completely dried, I antiqued it with antique glaze, wood stain, diluted acrylic paints and dry brushed metallic colors randomly. So far, so good - it looked great and everyone who saw it was impressed and had no clue that it was paper bags.

When I applied the polyurethane I thought disaster had struck! The paper bubbled. I was horrified. After applying a couple more coats, I used a razerblade to slit the worst of the bubbles and applied more glue. More polyurethane was applied. I needed to patch a couple of places and while speed drying the area with a heat gun, I made a discovery - the area where I heated laid down flat. I tried it on some of the other raised areas and they laid down as well. I used the heat gun and did more of the bubbles. The painters were coming to paint the back bedroom so I had to let the floor cure before they came (the polyurethane takes 3 days to cure to walk on it with shoes & I didn't think it would be right to ask them to remove their shoes). After the painters completed the job, I went back to finish the bathroom. I cleaned the floor and decided I would add some embossing powders for more interest (using the heat gun had given me the idea) I used some wet polyurethane to get the powders to stick into place and then melted them with the heat gun. Three more coats of polyurethane and my floor was finished. The only expense I had was the $29.99 gallon of polyurethane. You'd never guess the floor began as Tom Thumb grocery sacks!


Elizabeth said...

Nina!! Your floor is amazing!! i have seen it done on walls and have loved the look, but I would not have thought about doing it on floors!! Why Not???? You did a fantastic job and i just love the look!!

Patti G. said...

Nina, what a process! Your results are super! All that work, and a bit of worry too even! I knew you would do it and it would come out just like you wanted! Amazing!

Lisa said...

That's amazing! Genious! How does it feel to walk on it? It looks incredible!